In China, party officials coerce women to abort if they do not have a permit for a baby. In most cases, women are only allowed one child. The Chinese abortionist quoted below wishes she did not have to do abortions, but she has no choice, as an OBGYN, but to perform them. She describes one scene of infanticide:
“Some women come to the clinic for an abortion with a pregnancy of eight or nine months. If she does not come with the family planning official, we usually do not perform a delivered [live birth] abortion. If she comes with the family planning official, we have no way out but performing the operation. In most situations of late abortion, the aborted babies are alive. We have to employ medical measures. We just wait for the appearance of the baby’s head [at the opening of the womb], then inject the medicine into the skull. We really cannot bear to see these children, but we have to do what is required. Otherwise we will break the rule and be punished.. From the humane perspective, we are unwilling to do what we have to do. But we are not allowed to have a live baby after an abortion [another doctor who was in the interview room interrupted at this moment and said, “By all means, it cannot be alive.”] But sometimes the baby is alive despite all the injected medicine. It seems that the child of elite abortion has great vitality. It was not unusual for child after regular delivery to not survive despite medical rescue measures. But the life force of these children [undergoing delivered abortion] is very strong. I have a true story.…
It was an abortion of late stage. The child was alive after the abortion. The child burst out crying, making the sound “wa wa.” The lying in woman raised her head: “Doctor, the child is alive?” I could not tell her the truth and just asked her to lie down on the bed without moving. I told her this had nothing to do with her. But the lying in woman sat up desperately and begged me. “Doctor the child is alive. Please leave it alone.” I replied to her, “You lie down.” Then I told the nurse on duty to fetch Dr. Guang, the supervisor of the department. I knew how to kill the child, but I just could not put my hand on it.
Soon the nurse came in with Dr. Guang. Dr. Guang was a senior doctor. As soon as I saw Dr. Guang, I said to her, “I will leave this to you.” She replied, “You cannot do it this way. The child was delivered by you. You cannot deliver it at this moment and then be out of charge of the mess. I will get a bucket and fill it with water. We drown the child to death by putting her head down into the water first.” She got a bucket of water and put the child into it.
After about half an hour, Dr. Guang drew the child out of the bucket and wanted to send it to the burning oven of the hospital. But the child got back its breath again and burst into crying. The life force of the child was too indomitable. Even being submerged in the water for half an hour could not kill her. I really felt that there was something very strange here. I said to Dr. Guang that I had to leave. But she did not allow me. She said to me, “I still need to do something.” She then fill the washing basin in the room, which was bigger than the bucket, and put the child into the water again for another half an hour.
After all this, I did not use the washing basin for a long time. For a long time, I felt terrible.”
Nie Jing-Bao Beyond the Silence: Chinese Voices on Abortion (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005) 182-183
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